“Jack looked at the time device on his wrist. The trip had been successful – July 15, 1956. He had 24 hours to stop the miscreant who had murdered his uncle. But he couldn’t walk around town in his modern-day clothes without showing everyone he was out-of-place. So after emerging from the alley into broad daylight he ducked into the Gimbel’s store and pulled a collared shirt and pair of gaberdine slacks off the rack. He slipped into the dressing room and a moment later strode out of the building ready to blend in. His next stop: the Ford plant where his uncle had worked over a half-century before.”
Hold on… Did you notice the problem with this excerpt from a book that has never been written? Think – the Ford plant, the clothes, murdering the uncle… Actually, it’s much simpler than that. July 15, 1956 was a Sunday. And in 1956, Gimbel’s would not have been open for “Jack” to walk into and steal a new outfit for himself. Obvious mistake.
Actually, it’s not so obvious. If you’re a time travel writer (or even more dangerous, an actual time traveler!), you’re bound to have come across these intricacies from time to time. With all of the loops and cause-and-effect relationships, it can be difficult to keep track, much less be certain of little details such as which day of the week your time traveler is visiting.
A solution has arrived – the Official Time Travel Planning Calendar, 1700-2069 (.pdf). I actually started the guide as a project to help me as I wrote my own time travel series, WILTON’S GOLD (available on Amazon Kindle). When I finished the series, which has its share of time travel destinations, I thought other authors might be able to make use of my compiled research. Threw in some graphics and voila!
Did you know that in 1752 – the year that the Liberty Bell first arrived in Philadelphia – Great Britain and all of its colonies skipped September 2-14 in order to marry its Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar that was used in other European countries? Mind-blowing – especially if your time traveling hero sets her time portal to September 8, 1752. Think about that one for a bit!
Please download the 1700-2069 Time Travel Planning Calendar and enjoy. Hopefully you’ll learn as much perusing it as I did putting it together!